<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:33:11 -0800 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:33:11 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[San Diego Awaits Ferguson Grand Jury Decision ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:58:25 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/453983176.jpg

San Diego residents are watching and waiting along with millions of others for the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision regarding the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown.

NBC News reports the grand jury has been released and a decision was expected to be made public Monday evening.

Nine of 12 members of the grand jury must agree in order to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 19-year-old Brown on August. 9. 

The teenager was on his way home from a convenience store with a friend when Officer Wilson shot Brown multiple times. Brown had no criminal record, but it was later revealed that he was a suspect in a robbery allegedly committed before the shooting.

Wilson, 28, had patrolled the suburbs of St. Louis for six years, according to The Associated Press. Wilson's supporters have rallied, created Facebook pages and raised money for his family on GoFundMe.com.

The Missouri town was the location of unrest and violence following the officer-involved shooting. Police fought back with tear gas and rubber bullets, prompting questions over the intimidating presence of security forces armed with military-grade gear and equipment.

Demonstrators around the country, including in San Diego, have turned the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture into a rallying cry amid the protests.

At the City of Hope Church in Lincoln Park, churchgoers were praying for peace Sunday.

Pastor Terrell Fletcher was born in Ferguson and he views the grand jury decision as the biggest thing to happen in the lives of many young people in that community.

Fletcher said he knows all too well the racial tensions back home.

Though he comes from a law enforcement family, he knows what it's like to be mistreated by the police.

“Wasn't arrested, just embarrassed,” he recalled. “We were pushed around a little bit, we were pushed around a little bit faced down put in handcuffs put in the middle of the front lawn the whole community came out to see is be a spectacle, questioned unmercifully then threatened and sent on our way."

He's been meeting with young protesters, city leaders, law enforcement calling for calm as they brace for a decision.

The conflict has also brought attention to allegations of racial profiling in a community where 92.7 percent of those arrested in 2013 were black, when they make up 63 percent of the city's population, according to a report by the Missouri Attorney General's Office

The Ferguson Police Department has 53 officers, three of whom are black.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Decision Reached in Karate Teacher Molestation Case]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:24:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/juan+melesio+flores+1117.jpg

After almost one week of deliberation, the jury has returned a verdict on a popular former karate instructor accused of child molestation.

On Monday, a jury found Juan Melesio Flores, 39, guilty of oral copulation with a minor. However, jurors were deadlocked on the remaining 16 charges, and the judge has declared a mistrial on those counts. 

Flores was taken into custody and is being held without bond.

The co-owner and lead instructor at Z-Ultimate Studio in Tierrasanta was charged with more than a dozen felony counts, including oral copulation and lewd acts with a child. Prosecutors said the abuse, which allegedly involved two teenage boys, took place between 2012 and Dec. 2013 at the studio, or dojo.

Flores was arrested last December. The two teens testified against him at a preliminary hearing in February.

Flores took the stand in his own defense on Nov. 17. He admitted to touching students’ buttocks and telling a student to take a picture in the shower, but insisted it was just a joke and never sexual in nature.

The jury started deliberating after closing arguments on Nov. 18. The defense argued Flores was a mentor and friend, not a villain, and that the victims’ testimonies weren’t consistent.

“Members of the jury, be very careful because the power and influence of a child molest accusation is immense,” said defense attorney Damian Lowe during closing statements.

But the prosecution said Flores exploited his students, pointing to DNA evidence.

“Child molestation doesn’t happen in front of the cameras. It doesn’t happen in crowds, in front of the courthouse or the middle of the mall,” said Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick. “It happens in the same way it happened in this case, beyond closed doors.”

Flores is due back in court Dec. 8.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Victim's Family to Killer: Save Your Words]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:32:14 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Armando-Perez-112414.jpg

Armando Perez asked his former in-laws to forgive him Monday moments after admitting guilt in his estranged wife's brutal murder four years ago at San Diego City College.

Perez entered a change of plea, just before he was to stand trial for the stabbing of 19-year-old Diana Gonzalez, inside a campus restroom on October 12, 2010.

He turned to Gonzalez's family and asked them to forgive him, saying there should be money to help men with problems so they don't have to go through what happened here.

"I always loved your daughter," Perez said.

However, the victim's sister told him to save his words.

After jurors were brought into the courtroom in San Diego Superior Court, Perez asked to speak with the judge.

The defendant said he would plead guilty to all charges and wanted to give the victim's family time to heal.

He said it was the "right thing to do" and that he hopes his actions help bring awareness to domestic violence.

As a result, Perez will be sentenced to 25 years to life. His sentencing hearing was scheduled for January 16, 2015.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA["Serious" Santa Ana Arrives in San Diego]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:35:52 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/red-flag-warning-generic-20.jpg

Strong winds and low humidity forecasted for this week means San Diego County is at an increased risk of wildfires.

"It is going to be a pretty serious Santa Ana event," said NBC 7 Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh. "The biggest that we've had since May." 

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Red Flag Warning for the mountains and inland valleys from 4 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

A High Wind Warning was also in effect with the strongest winds expected Tuesday.

"We're looking at a very serious Tuesday," Kodesh said.

Cal Fire spokesperson Capt. Kendal Bortisser said the agency is fully staffed with 26 engines covered at all 18 stations.

There is also aircraft available to fly if needed.

Humidity levels were in the 20s and 30s, considered less than half the amount of moisture normally in the air around the county at this time of the year, she added.

In Malibu, six kayakers were pushed about a mile out to sea and had to be rescued Sunday. A group of squid fishing boats came to their rescue. No one was injured. 

Sunday afternoon, crews battled a small brush fire at the Thousand Trails Pio Pico campground in Jamul. Cal Fire first reported the wildfire around 1:20 p.m.

Firefighters stopped the spread of the fire about 20 minutes later, according to Cal Fire. The blaze burned about one acre of land.

No structures were threatened by the fire, and there is no word what sparked it.

Winds pushed a house fire on Deluz Road in Fallbrook into surrounding brush Sunday night. No one was seriously injured.

A new online tool provided by the U.S. Forest Service, SDG&E and UCLA suggests the risk of a wildfire from this Santa Ana wind event will be marginal in San Diego on Monday and Wednesday.

That threat grows to moderate on Tuesday meaning upon ignition, fires will grow rapidly and will be difficult to control.

The Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, a classification system that analyzes the fire threat potential of the powerful Santa Ana winds, was rolled out in September to help homeowners and fire officials prepare.

San Diego County officials urge residents to download the free emergency smart phone application SDEmergency and follow three key steps.

GET READY: Do your 100-foot defensible space in advance
GET SET: Have an emergency plan. Pack your car when Santa Anas arrive.
GO: When told to leave, leave.

It’s a good reminder this holiday week to be extra safe outdoors, Bortisser said.

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<![CDATA[Sexual Assault Reported at SDSU]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:46:17 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDSU-generic-night-0404.jpg

Police are investigating a reported sexual assault on the San Diego State University campus Sunday night.

A female student reported being sexually assaulted between 10:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. while attending a party on Hardy Avenue near 55th Street, police said.

Police described the suspect as an adult male approximately 6 feet tall with brown hair. He was wearing dress slacks with no shirt.

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information about the incident should call police at (619) 594-1991 or by sending an e-mail to police@mail.sdsu.edu.

The report comes as SDSU police also investigate a reported kidnapping where a group of people tried to pull a student into a car after stealing her cell phone near the athletic complex on campus.

This is the seventh reported sexual assault since the start of the year.

A victim reported a sexual assault on October 27 on 55th Street just north of Viejas Arena.

On September 22, a female student reported an assault that happened the afternoon before in student housing.

A female student was reportedly assaulted Sept. 6 at the campus-owned Granada Apartments by a man whom she said tried to befriend her as she was walking home.

On Labor Day, another SDSU student said she was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at an off-campus house party near College Place and College Avenue.
 

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<![CDATA[1 Dead, 30 Hurt in Calif. Bus Crash]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:22:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/141123-norcal-bus-crash.jpg

California Highway Patrol officials have identified the driver of a charter bus that rolled off the 5 Freeway in Northern California on Sunday, killing a passenger and sending 30 more to hospitals.

The bus was traveling from Los Angeles to Pasco, Washington when it ran off the highway in northern Shasta County about 7:40 a.m. and overturned on an embankment, landing wheels up on a side street, CHP officials said.

The driver was identified as 67-year-old Jose Victor Garcilazo Palencia of Los Angeles. He voluntarily went into CHP headquarters for questioning, according to NBC affiliate KNVN. CHP officers say the driver showed signs of fatigue.

All but one of the other 32 people aboard were taken to hospitals in Redding and Mount Shasta, investigators said.

Most had minor injuries and were treated and released. Two patients were in critical condition and three more were in serious condition at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, where most of the patients were taken, hospital spokeswoman Heather Nichols told the Associated Press.

The 33-year-old man who died has not been identified. Investigators said he was a resident of Parlier, a small community in Fresno County.

Earlier Sunday morning during the same trip, the bus had been involved in a minor crash when it struck a Denny's in Red Bluff, CHP officials said. No injuries were reported in the collision, but the building's roof was damaged.

Photos of the all-white bus, a 1996 Vanhool, showed no large logos, but a sign on the door said the bus belonged to a company called Transporters Yellow Arrow.

The bus departed from Huntington Park on Saturday night.

The bus operator, Yellow Arrow LLC, is based in Othello, Washington. It has a current license and before Sunday had no reported accidents in the past two years, according to federal records. It appears to be related to a Mexican bus line.

Families of victims in the crash said they had never heard of Yellow Arrow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Alayna Shulman/Redding Record Searchlight]]>
<![CDATA[K-9 Wounded After Search for Gunman in Fatal Shooting ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:44:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/11-24-2014-dog-reiko-west-convina-shooting.jpg

A man who opened fire on a police dog after jumping from the roof of a home was shot and killed by police after a search for a gunman involved in a nearby fatal shooting outside a church.

The officer-involved shooting was reported at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday in the 1500 block of East Elgnenia Street in West Covina. At least one West Covina officer was involved in the shooting.

The dog, a Belgian Malinois, underwent surgery Monday morning and was expected to make a full recovery, according to the West Covina Police Department.

The shooting occurred just minutes after the discovery of a shooting victim on lawn outside a church. The victim died at the scene.

"Limited" information was available regarding the shooting and reports of an argument between the two men, police said.

"It was right in front of the church," said Cpl. Rudy Lopez. "The witness was able to provide us with the direction and a description."

Authorities are attempting to determine whether a Yellow taxi cab parked outside the church was connected to the shooting. The cab was towed from the scene.

The taxi cab company confirmed that the driver was not injured.

Witnesses told police they heard gunfire and saw a man running from the scene. Authorities towed a Yellow taxi cab from the scene of the church shooting, but it was not immediatley clear whether the vehicle is part of the investigation.

The gunman jumped from the roof onto a driveway and opened fire as a K-9 handler released the police dog, which was struck by one round. 

The 2-year-old dog, Reiko, has been with the department since 2013.

"He's done a magnificent job," said Lopez. "He's just one of those kinds of dogs that's got the drive that does the job. His handler is an excellent handler and they make a great team, and that's why I'm sure he's taking it as hard as he is because of that relationship.

"They are officers. They're treated as such. When you've injured a K-9, you've basically injured an officer."

Reiko is one of the dogs assigned to the department. The department is attempting to acquire protective body armor for the K-9 unit, Lopez said.



Photo Credit: Friends of West Covina PD K-9
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<![CDATA[San Diego Among First to Debut "Star Wars" Trailer]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:55:01 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP670985663817.jpg

Lucky San Diegans this weekend willing to skip out on Black Friday deals can be some of the few people to catch a glimpse of the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" teaser trailer starting this Friday.

An 88-second teaser of the Episode VII movie will be released exclusively to select theaters, including the Edwards Mira Mesa Stadium, starting this Black Friday morning.

The Edwards Mira Mesa Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX was one of 30 theaters selected to premiere the trailer this weekend.

The J. J. Abrams movie, set to be officially released in December 2015, will have their teaser play before all movies showing in the cinema from November 28 to 30th. After that, the teaser will be shown around the world in December.



Photo Credit: Eric Jamison/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Runs Onto Rooftop After 100-MPH Pursuit]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:06:15 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/11-24-2014-water-break-pursuit-culver-city.jpg

The driver of a sport utility vehicle involved in a pursuit that exceeded 100 mph ran from the vehicle and onto a Culver City rooftop after driving on the wrong side of streets and narrowly missing pedestrians in crosswalks

Authorities have surrounded the what appeared to be an apartment complex property in the 9600 block of Lucerne Avenue. Aerial video showed the man walking on the roof of the complex before turning on a water supply pipe and taking a drink.

The man then wedged a board against what appeared to be a rooftop access door and placed cinder blocks in front of it to prevent it from opening.

The pursuit involving a white sport utility vehicle began in the Palmdale area after a report of an individual sought in a drive-by shooting. The driver was on the 14 and 5 freeways at midday and nearly clipped several vehicles at speeds around 100 mph.

Aerial video showed the driver swerving across lanes and driving on the shoulder of the southbound 5 Freeway before transitioning on the southbound 170 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley. The driver then exited onto Vermont Avenue in the Hollywood area, speeding the wrong way on several busy streets and narrowly missing pedestrians and vehicles at intersections.

At about 1:20 p.m., the driver reversed into a covered parking area before exiting back onto the street in front of a Los Angeles Police Department patrol vehicle. The pursuit continued westbound on streets bordering the 10 Freeway and into Culver City.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Lindbergh Field Among Least Frustrating Airports]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:21:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Airport-Meditation-Room-5.jpg

San Diegans heading to the airport this holiday week can fly out assured that their experience will be one of the best in the U.S. and Canada.

The San Diego International Airport, known by locals as Lindbergh Field, ranked as the tenth least frustrating airport on Bloomberg Businessweek’s Airport Frustration Index.

On a scale from one to 100, the airport received a 38.1 frustration score, taking into account the overall experience, commute time, ease of security, the quality of terminals and restrooms, amenities, and how often flights take off on time.

The index took into account late or canceled flights, long lines, crowded terminals, and overpriced or appalling food. The survey analyzed more than 3,000 frequent flyers to find the most- and least-irritating places to catch a plane in the U.S. and Canada.

The airport also received high marks for its security clearance time, restrooms and shopping options.

On a scale from zero to 10, where zero is the worst and 10 is the best, the airport received a score of 7.2 for its security, 7.5 for its restrooms, and 6.1 for its shopping.

Flights departing from San Diego International Airport left on time 77 percent of the time, the 18th best in the bunch.

The ranking comes after the airport underwent a series of upgrades to their facilities, including adding its first-ever meditation room post-security in Terminal 2.

Many of the expansions in the past several years were a part of The Green Build, a $1 billion project set to expand Terminal 2 with 10 new gates, a duel-level roadway and additional parking and security lanes. The improvements include more concession stands and dining options.

The airport was also the first to become the first airport in the nation to have a formal sustainability policy where tons of food is recycled each month, including a quarter of coffee grounds.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Scenes from Chargers Win Over Rams]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:04:59 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+rams+nfl+pic+3.jpg The Bolts pulled out a nail-biting 27-24 win over St. Louis at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fallbrook Home Destroyed by Fire]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:20:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fallbrook-Fire-112414_2.jpg

A house fire in Fallbrook shot flames high into the air and quickly spread Sunday, igniting nearby brush in critically dry conditions.

The fire first sparked at the home on Deluz Road around 6:30 p.m. and tore through the 2500-square foot home.

Flames were so intense, crews called for reinforcements from as far away as San Marcos. It took crews hours to extinguish the fire. Fire crews stayed through the night to keep water on any hotspots.

Flames spread to the yard and scorched about a half acre of brush. Cal Fire told NBC 7 it did not appear that winds were a factor in the fire's spread Sunday night.

However, winds were expected to pick up strength Monday morning as the county was under a red flag warning.

One woman was treated for smoke inhalation, officials said.

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<![CDATA[Dog Left in NY Park Bathroom]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:52:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/abandoned+dog+park.jpg

Authorities are searching for the person who left a small white dog in the women's bathroom at a New York state park over the weekend.

The Putnam County SPCA says the pooch, possibly a Maltese mix, was found in a plastic crate in the ladies' restroom at Pelton Pond off Route 301 in Kent's Fahnestock State Park Saturday morning.

The dog was taken to an animal hospital, where it was found to be in a severe state of neglect. Both of its ears were infected and its fur was so heavily matted that it couldn't relieve itself, the SPCA said.

The pup, believed to be 3 or 4 years old, was also underweight.

Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call the Putnam County SPCA at 845-520-6915. 



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Steal Win From Rams]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:58:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/1123+chargers+2.jpg

After nearly giving away a late 10-point lead, the Chargers defense came up big when it was most needed.

Marcus Gilchrist intercepted a pass on the goal line as the St. Louis Rams were driving for a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute, sealing a 27-24 victory at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.

"The character of our football team is unbelievable," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. "We just believe in each other."

For much of the day, the Chargers (7-4) looked like they wanted to give away the game. They committed three costly turnovers. They were flagged for eight penalties totalling 85 yards.

Fortunately, they forced the Rams (4-7) to commit three turnovers of their own, including a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

Philip Rivers led a 93-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter, hitting Keenan Allen on a 29-yard touchdown pass to put the Chargers up 10.

It was redemption for both of them. Rivers threw a first-half interception near the goal line that Janoris Jenkins returned for a 99-yard score.

Allen muffed a punt in the third quarter that led to a St. Louis (4-7) touchdown. He also fumbled deep in Rams territory as the Chargers were driving to put the game away. Allen finished with six catches for a game-high 104 yards.

The Rams almost pulled off the miraulous comeback late in the game. Shaun Hill drove them 80 yards, hitting Stedman Bailey on a 12-yard touchdown pass to pull within 27-24.

After forcing a Chargers punt, Tavon Austin returned a kick inside the Chargers 5. But a penalty brought it back. They drove down all the way to the Bolts 4 before Gilchrist made the big pick.

Rivers completed 29 of 35 passes for 291 yards.

Ryan Mathews led the Bolts with 105 rushing yards. His 32-yard touchdown run put the Chargers up 13-10 on their first drive of the second half, but he injured his shoulder on the play and didn't play much of the second half.

Hill was 18-of-35 for 198 yards. Bailey finished with seven catches for 89 yards.

The win keeps the Chargers in the playoff hunt, tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for second place in the AFC West, just a game back of the Denver Broncos, and tied with a number of teams for the final playoff spot.

They now enter a daunting stretch of the schedule, starting with a trip to Baltimore to play the Ravens.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Blinded in Hatchet Attack Faces Assailant]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:55:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chris+anguiano.jpg

Imagine being the victim of a brutal attack that put you in a coma for two months and left you with brain damage, speech problems and blindness. Now, imagine sitting down face-to-face with your attacker and finding it in your heart to not only forgive him, but also to listen to his side of the story.

It’s unfathomable on so many levels, and yet, Chris Anguiano has managed all of it. And it couldn’t say more about his character.

“He said he feels bad and he’s so sorry,” Anguiano told NBC 7 in an exclusive interview Saturday. “I took his apology. I accepted it.”

Anguiano’s referring to the former Border Patrol agent who attacked him and his then-girlfriend with two hatchets while they slept in their Escondido home in July 2009. Gamalier Rivera meant to kill his estranged wife and her new boyfriend but went into the wrong bedroom.

“I think it’s good to confront the person who harmed you,” said Dr. Skip Himelstein, Anguiano’s therapist. “It kind of raises you up and lowers them down.”

Himelstein traveled Saturday with Anguiano to Centinela State Prison where they sat down for a meeting with Rivera. They had prepared months for this.

Even if Anguiano didn’t believe Rivera’s side, hearing it brought him closure.

“How he’s so sorry what he’s done to me. How he’s changed his life forever, you know. I told him, 'You changed your life forever,’” Anguiano said.

Himelstein has seen Anguiano progress from rage and anger to where he is now, a state of peace and positivity. She’s incredibly proud of him.

“He was so glad and relieved to hear what Gamalier had to say,” she said.

“I'm in a better place. I have freedom. He doesn't have freedom,” Anguiano said. “I have life. I’m enjoying it in a different manner.”

Even if he can’t see images, Anguiano loves watching movies, listening to the dialogue and special effects. He also joked that he’s trying to convince his friends to let him drive their cars but hasn’t had any luck yet.

As impressive as Anguiano’s outlook on life and overcoming obstacles is his independence. He’s been living in an apartment alone for nearly a year and a half, and though he has a caretaker -- his father -- three days a week, he gets along just fine on his own as well.

In the past five years he’s adapted to his environment so he can carry out the simple tasks most of us take for granted. He’s organized his refrigerator so he knows exactly where everything is when he reaches in. He has an app on his iPhone that reads and identifies banknotes. He even has a way of navigating the remote so he can change the channel, or play and enjoy those movies he loves.

He’s even gone skiing, flown on a Dive Devil, and gone crabbing.

Anguiano has come a long way, but naturally, he can’t deny his deepest feelings.

“I feel like he should have been punished the way he punished me,” he said.

But he has taken an immeasurable step.

“I could say I forgive him, but I'm never going to forget,” Anguiano said. “The rest of my life I'll remember.”

When all this happened, Anguiano was studying nursing. He's on a different track now, taking classes at Palomar College and encouraging other victims of violent crime not to give up on life, even speaking about his trauma in college classes taught by his therapist.
 

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<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Tips from Culinary Institute]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:01:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/culinary-pumpkin-pie-112414.jpg Chef Larry Lewis from the San Diego Culinary Institute in La Mesa with some helpful advice for first-time Thanksgiving Day hosts. ]]> <![CDATA[Benefits, Challenges in Post-Prop 47 San Diego]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:17:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Prop-47-Folo-112114.jpg

Two familiar faces in the San Diego criminal justice system met Friday to take a post-election look at state Proposition 47.

Its passage, by a 3-to-2 voter majority has bumped a lot of low-level felonies down to misdemeanors.

Now, it could free up thousands of prison inmates.

Former San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said concerns about low-level criminals being released from custody are unfounded.

He cites other states that have succeeded with the shift in categorization of some crimes.

“There isn’t a family I know of that isn’t touched by this,” Lansdowne said referring to inmates with either a history of mental illness or drug abuse.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said there are a lot of challenges with an estimated 250 more cases a month expected to be handled by attorneys in his office.

The public said the thieves or drug-related offenders will be handled as misdemeanors and won’t get nearly the same attention as those cases handled as felonies.

“There are no probation officers when they’re placed on probation,” he said. “It’s a promise to the judge.”

“It is the honor system and it’s really, really tough to help somebody deal with their drug problem on the honor system,” he added. 


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<![CDATA[Inside the Grand Tasting at the SDBWFF]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:44:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/66WFF.jpg The 2014 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival held its biggest, most anticipated event of the week on Saturday: The Grand Tasting. The party at Embarcadero Marina Park North featured 150 wine and spirit purveyors pouring more than 700 different wines. In a perfect pairing, more than 60 of San Diego’s top chefs also took the spotlight, whipping up their finest fare for foodies.]]> <![CDATA[Death of Man in NYPD Stairwell Shooting Ruled Homicide: ME]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:27:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/gurley+stairwell+shooting.jpg

The death of the unarmed man shot by a probationary NYPD officer in a Brooklyn stairwell last week has been ruled a homicide, the medical examiner’s office said Monday.

Akai Gurley was shot and killed in a stairwell at the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York late Thursday by officer Peter Liang, who was assigned to the public housing complex as part of a violence reduction overtime detail.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has called the shooting an accident and said Gurley was a "total innocent."

Liang and his partner, both of whom have less than 18 months on the force, were conducting a floor-by-floor sweep of the building and had gone to the roof when they noticed there were no lights in the stairwell leading up to it. Given the location and lack of light, Liang drew his weapon and a flashlight for safety reasons, police have said. The other officer kept his service weapon holstered.

As the officers were entering the eighth-floor landing, Gurley emerged on the seventh-floor landing. He heard a noise and turned to look up at the two officers a floor above him, a law enforcement source said. Then Liang, who had his gun in his left hand and his flashlight in his right, fired accidentally, hitting Gurley 11 feet below him, according to Bratton.

Gurley was shot in the chest. He stumbled down to his girlfriend, who was by that point on the fifth floor, and she tried to administer first aid, authorities said. Liang and his partner found the couple on the fifth floor; 911 had already been called. Gurley was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The medical examiner's ruling came shortly after Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced he would launch an investigation into Gurley's death. Thompson met with community leaders on Sunday, a day after more than 250 people marched in protest outside Liang's 75th Precinct, chanting and holding signs calling for justice.

The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating along with the district attorney's office. Liang has been placed on modified duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

The police union has called for a thorough investigation. Neither the union nor the NYPD could immediately be reached for comment on the medical examiner's ruling. 
 



Photo Credit: AP/NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Red Flag Warnings Explained]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:53:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/red-flag-warning-generic-20.jpg

The dry, windy conditions across Southern California have prompted another Red Flag Warning from weather and fire officials - but what does that mean?

The term is used by fire officials to plan for a potentially dangerous mix of low moisture that can make dry brush act like kindling and high winds that can help a fire to rapidly spread, increasing the chances of wildfires.

When a Red Flag Warning is in effect, fire agencies add additional firefighters, staff more fire engines and keep additional firefighting resources at the ready.

It is the highest fire danger alert, and in Southern California is often triggered by the so-called Santa Ana winds.

Residents are asked to be extra cautious of fire hazards when:

  • Relative humidity is less than 15 percent and winds are stronger than 25 mph or with frequent gusts of more than 35 mph during a 6-hour period.
  • Relative humidity is less than 10 percent for 10 hours or more regardless of wind speed.

Lightning strikes without a rain storm can also play a factor. Red Flag conditions can exist regardless of the air temperature, so wildfire danger can be as high during cooler winter months as it is during the hot summer.

During Red Flag Warnings, residents can help firefighters by:

  • Removing debris, including dry leaves, firewood and trash from around their home.
  • Trim dry tree branches and bushes.
  • Don’t mow or trim dry grass with a lawnmower on dry days.
  • Make sure cigarette butts and campfires are properly extinguished.

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<![CDATA[Thieves Tried to Pull SDSU Student Into Car: PD]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:24:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sdsu+kidnap+car.jpg

A group of people tried to kidnap a San Diego State University student after stealing her cell phone, according to campus police.

The alleged incident happened around 12:35 a.m. Sunday on 55th Street and Aztec Walk near the athletic complex.

The female student told officers she was walking home and dropped her cell phone. That’s when she says someone got out of a nearby sedan, snatched her phone, got back into the car and fled.

According to police, the vehicle returned a few minutes later and offered the woman her phone. When she went to retrieve the phone, someone reportedly tried to pull her into the car.

The victim was able to escape with her cell phone and call police.

Police said there were six suspects, but they only have a good description of one. He is described as a slender African-American man with short, curly hair wearing khaki pants and camouflage boxers. He was not wearing a shirt and appeared to have tattoos on his chest and arms.

The suspects were riding in a silver or gold Toyota Camry with a sunroof. The sedan was last seen driving east on Montezuma Road and was captured on surveillance video (pictured above.)

Anyone with information should call 619-594-7874 or email police@mail.sdsu.edu. They can also contact Crime Stoppers at 619-235-8477 to remain anonymous.



Photo Credit: SDSU Police]]>
<![CDATA[3 Arrested in Stabbing Outside Walmart]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 15:06:17 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Handcuffs-generic-custody.jpg

Deputies have arrested three men who they say have been in hiding since a stabbing outside a local Walmart.

On Thursday, 29-year-old Roady Briley, 24-year-old Randy Briley and 24-year-old Kevin Cave were arrested at Lilac Oaks Campground in Valley Center.

The suspects are accused of stabbing a 20-year-old man and stealing his backpack outside the Santee Walmart at 170 Town Center Parkway Nov. 9, according to the sheriff's department.

Officials said the victim suffered five stab wounds to his lower back. He was treated and released from Sharp Memorial Hospital.

All three suspects face charges of attempted murder and robbery. They are being held in the central jail without bail.



Photo Credit: NBCSanDiego]]>
<![CDATA[SD Woman Alleged Bill Cosby Drugged, Attacked Her]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:32:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tamara+green+cosby.jpg

A North County lawyer is one of the women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault.

Tamara Green of Fallbrook first shared her story on the “Today” show in 2005.

Green said Cosby tried to sexually assault her in her Los Angeles apartment around 1970, when she was a model and an aspiring actress. She said Cosby gave her two pills that made her almost lose consciousness and attacked her.

Green and other women have renewed their sexual assault allegations against the 77-year-old entertainer in recent weeks, prompting several of his standup comedy shows to be canceled.

Despite the scandal, Cosby received a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd Friday night in Melbourne, Florida. Before the show, Cosby broke his silence regarding the accusations. He told the Florida Today newspaper, in part, "I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos.”
 



Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Awakens From Coma After Fall]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 17:40:45 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-11-23+at+11.37.01+AM.jpg

After nearly 10 days, a 4-year-old boy who fell off a cliff in Bodega Bay, Northern California, has woken up from his coma Friday.

Sebastion Johnson fell more than 200 feet down a seaside cliff nearly two weeks ago, as he was throwing rocks into the ocean with his family when he slipped over the edge.

"I wanted to jump off and and grab him and make sure he's alive," Sebastion's father, Daryl Johnson, told NBC's "Today" show of the ordeal.

Rescuers rappelled down the cliff to save him. They slowly lifted him to safety. Sebastion ended up with a broken leg, arm and jaw.

But, on Friday morning, Johnson's father said his son was breathing on his own and had his neck brace removed.

"We're amazed he's pulled through," Sebastion's mom Jamie Guglielmino told "Today." "We've given him a nickname,'miracle monkey.' Everyone in our family has a monkey nickname."

Sebastion was still recovering on Sunday and a GoFundMe Hope Fund has been set up for him.



Photo Credit: NBC's "Today" show]]>
<![CDATA[Rams at Chargers: Who To Watch]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:43:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/174*120/Keenan+Allen+Raiders.jpg

The St. Louis Rams defense makes life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. At least, that's what everyone seems to think.

A glance at the numbers reveals the Rams only have 19 QB sacks this season (23rd in the NFL). That's not what one would consider a terrifying front seven. But, when you look inside those numbers you see St. Louis is conducting some paranormal activity.

Of those 19 sacks, 18 have come in the last five games. I'm not sure which is more amazing; that this unit has averaged nearly four sacks a game against the likes of Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick (whom they got eight times), Carson Palmer (whom they knocked out for the season with a torn ACL), Alex Smith and Peyton Manning ... or that this unit only had one sack total against the likes of Matt Cassel, Josh McCown, Tony Romo and Nick Foles.

St. Louis can't figure out what kind of team it is. One week they'll look like a Super Bowl contender, like they did a week ago in beating the Broncos 22-7. The next week they'll look like a team lucky to win four games, like they did in losing to the Chiefs 34-7 at the end of October.

Their last six games have been Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Win. If that pattern holds true the Chargers got a gift from the schedule makers. But, to make that pattern perpetuate, the Bolts will have to keep the Rams rushers away from Philip Rivers.

Only five St. Louis defensive players have more than one sack this season, led by Robert Quinn's 6.0. Rookie Aaron Donald is next with 4.0, while Eugene Sims, William Hayes and James Laurinaitis all have 2.0.

That's four defensive linemen and one linebacker who have done the bulk of the QB smashing. That's going to be a problem for the Chargers and their underwhelming offensive line. Any time a team can generate pressure from its 4-man rush, something this Rams group excels at, it's going to cause issues.

The Chargers, especially, want to force opposing defenses to bring extra attackers. Through the season's first 10 games, Philip Rivers has the highest QB rating in the NFL while being blitzed. the man sniffs out blitzes like a bloodhound because, when a team blitzes, it's leaving someone momentarily open. Rivers and his encyclopedic knowledge of football knows exactly where that person will be and finds him more often than not.

But, when the defensive front is able to hurry a quarterback without extra help, everyone is accounted for. The offense has to rely on bad coverage or a receiver getting open on his own. That makes things exponentially more difficult, that's why this match up is so potentially tough for the Bolts, and that brings us to our three players to watch on Sunday:

Chris Watt, C

At Notre Dame, Watt started 37 career games, all of them at left guard. So, of course his first NFL start comes at center. Rich Ohrnberger is listed as questionable with ankle and back injuries, but since the Chargers signed Ryan Miller off the practice squad on Saturday it would appear Ohrnberger is not going to be active. That moves Watt to the middle of the line, a spot where the Rams use Laurinaitis and Donald to get a push through the A-Gap (between the center and guard), the spot where quarterbacks thoroughly despise getting pushed. Watt will have to not only help make the line calls and get everyone working in the same direction, he'll have to worry about keeping those big guys from breaking through and getting clean shots on an already dinged up Rivers.

Keenan Allen, WR

One of Allen's greatest assets is his ability to get open quickly. St. Louis plays all kinds of coverages. They'll go man for a while, then zone, sometimes flip-flopping between the two within a single series. Allen is going to have to use his abundant skill set to get open against the ever-changing looks as fast as he possibly can, because odds are Rivers won't have much time to let Keenan work to get open. Rivers said during the week we could see another eight or nine catch game from Allen coming soon. If this is the week it happens, it's probably a good sign that Philip is staying upright and Keenan is winning on the outside, and that could very well be the difference between a win and a loss.

Jerry Attaochu, OLB

If there's a saving grace for the Chargers against what I've now talked myself in to believing is the second coming of the 1985 Bears, it's this: The Rams offense is not very good. While Shaun Hill and Austin Davis have both had nice moments at quarterback, neither has established himself as the starter and head coach Jeff Fisher has tried to play the hot hand. Attaochu returned from his hamstring injury and looked like the Tasmanian Devil against the Raiders. Attaochu had a sack, another QB hit and a tackle for a loss, showing an explosion off the edge that can put offensive tackles on edge. Rams quarterbacks have been sacked 33 times this season (only the Jaguars have allowed more sacks). The Chargers defense needs to match the Rams in getting after the QB, or it's going to be a long day in Mission Valley.

Derek's Prediction

I honestly have no clue what to expect from St. Louis. They could win by 20 or lose by 20, and either way it would in no way be surprising. In this particular case, it's not going to be a blowout. But, it will be another St. Louis loss.

Rivers will find a way to make just enough plays in the passing game, and get a big boost from Ryan Mathews running the ball well. The San Diego defense will force a couple of turnovers and get points on short fields. Just like last week against Oakland, this will not be pretty.

But, it will be 7-4.

Final score: Chargers 16, Rams 13



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rapper Who Shot Cop to Be Executed]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 05:00:29 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cool-C.jpg

A Philadelphia hip hop artist convicted of shooting and killing a female police officer will be executed next year.

Christopher Roney was convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Lauretha Vaird Jan. 2, 1996. Governor Tom Corbett signed an execution warrant for Roney on Friday. He is scheduled to be executed Jan. 8, 2015. Executions in Pennsylvania are carried out by lethal injection.

Roney, 44, was found guilty of first-degree murder and other offenses Oct. 30, 1996. The jury also returned a death verdict Nov. 1, 1996 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

On Jan. 2, 1996, around 8:20 a.m., Roney, Ernest Canty and Warren McGlone tried to rob a PNC Bank at 4710 Rising Sun Avenue in Philadelphia. As the assistant manager arrived at the bank, Canty grabbed her as well as the bank manager and forced them inside at gunpoint. Roney then grabbed the head bank teller as she arrived.

A nearby business contacted police. Officer Lauretha Vaird, a nine-year veteran with the 25th District, was the first officer to arrive at the scene. As she entered the bank, Roney opened fire, striking her in the abdomen, according to officials. He and the other two men then fled the scene as other officers arrived.

Vaird, a 43-year-old single mother of two boys, died from her injuries. She was the first Philadelphia female police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Roney and his two accomplices were arrested after police received statements from eyewitnesses.

Prior to his arrest, Roney was a hip hop artist who released two solo albums under the stage name “Cool C” in 1989 and 1990 as well as an album with the hip hop group C.E.B. in 1993.

Roney was recording a comeback EP at the time of Vaird's death. McGlone, who performed under the stage name "Steady B" was another member of C.E.B. while Canty was also a local hip hop artist.

Aside from Roney, Governor Corbett also signed execution warrants for Mark Duane Edwards, who was convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of a husband, wife and their pregnant teen daughter in 2002 as well as Dennis Reed, who was convicted in the shooting death of his girlfriend and mother of his son in 2001.

The three execution warrants signed Friday were Corbett’s 41st, 42nd and 43rd warrants signed since he took office.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Steals Airport Vehicle: Police]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:05:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Zaragoza.jpg

San Jose police are investigating a security breach at San Jose airport Sunday - the third since April at this airport - and have arrested a suspect on charges of trespassing and stealing a maintenance worker's vehicle.

San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol said Miguel Zaragoza, 39, breached the airport on Sunday about 10:15 a.m. along the Coleman Avenue side of the airport. Employees of Atlantic Aviation captured him as he entered the property, escorted him to a lobby, and alerted police.

While waiting for police to arrive, he ran from the company's lobby to the public side of the airport and asked an employee driving a maintenance truck for a ride, police said. When the airport worker said no, the suspect stole it, according to police.

Police caught up with  Zaragoza, and arrested him at Terminal B. He never made it to the runway area, Randol said.

He will be booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and trespassing, Randol said.

No one was injured in the incident and no further details were immediately available. And no flights were affected because of the incident.

Still, the breach had some passengers concerned.

"If a guy can come in and steal a maintenance vehicle, who knows what else they could do? " asked Sky Windsor of Santa Clara.

"It just makes you wonder about security," added Regina King.

And U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell commended San Jose police in this case for stopping the suspect so quickly, but overall, he said that security should be notified immediately after a breach occurs.

In August, Marilyn Hartman, 62, was arrested for taking a Southwest Airlines flight from the San Jose airport to Los Angeles, sneaking by a security screener without a ticket. She pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of willfully and unlawfully entering Los Angeles as a stowaway.

In April, a 15-year-old Santa Clara boy hopped the fence at the San Jose wheel well before hiding in the wheel well of a plane  and flying to Hawaii, miraculously landing safe in Maui.



Photo Credit: San Jose Police]]>
<![CDATA[Sheep Escapes Zoo, Hit by Driver]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 19:37:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/141122-escaped-bighorn-sheep-los-feliz.jpg

A bighorn sheep that escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in a Los Feliz neighborhood Saturday, police said.

The adult female sheep went missing from an exhibit about noon and  traversed the Santa Monica Mountains from the area in Griffith Park where the zoo is located, zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock said.

It was struck by a car near the Greek Theatre about two hours later.

Los Angeles park rangers and police found the sheep on a home driveway in the 2200 block of North Commonwealth Avenue.

When zoo personnel and veterinarians got to the sheep, they tranquilized the animal with a dart to bring it back to its habitat but it died at the scene about 3 p.m., Spurlock said.

The sheep is believed to have died from its injuries, but the official cause of death will be determined by an autopsy, Spurlock said.

The sheep was one of five bighorns at the zoo. Officials are trying to figure out how it escaped.

The desert bighorn sheep has been listed as endangered since 1998 due to loss of habitat, disease brought by domestic sheep and cattle and predation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[After Hiatus, Chula Vista Starlight Parade is Back]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:47:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Starlight+Parade.jpg

After a two-year hiatus, the long-standing Chula Vista Starlight Parade is back with appearances by carolers, the Grinch, reindeer and Old Saint Nick himself.

The parade will start at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 in Chula Vista’s historic Third Avenue Village. But before that, the Third Avenue Village Association will host a “Holiday in the Village” on Third Avenue from noon to 5 p.m.

The event is perfect for the kiddos and will boast performers, children’s activities, contests and live reindeer.

Perhaps its signature attraction is “Frosty’s Snow Hill,” a snow-covered hill in Memorial Park that you’ll be able to sled down.

In the evening, stick around for the Starlight Parade, which will go down Third Avenue from H to E streets. Onlookers will be able to catch about 30 festive floats along with another 30 marching school bands and dance performers.

The best part of all this family Yuletide cheer? It’s free. So bundle up in a scarf and hat and get ready to get your Christmas cheer on!



Photo Credit: Steve Wood]]>
<![CDATA[Inside the Internet's Dark Web]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 12:19:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/computer-keyboard-generic-0.jpg

The internet is larger than you think.

Using websites like Google and Yahoo is only the tip of a massive internet iceberg that goes far beyond a typical search.

There's what could be considered a "black market web" that you should be concerned about, an entirely different internet used by people across the world. It's not what you do every day when you go to Facebook or look up your favorite Apple Crisp recipe.

This internet requires special software, and it is deeper and darker than what you've experienced.

"Think of it kind of like an illegal bazaar,” said FBI Special Agent Bradlee Godshall.

It started as a way for the US military to communicate abroad without being detected.

“The TOR was originally a project from the United States Navy. It was intended for governmental purposes and as so often happens, it gets utilized for other uses,” Godshall explained.

There are now sites where you can be anonymous as you gain access to any and everything you can think of: “Guns, narcotics, valid credit card numbers, cloned phones, weapons," said Godshall.

Ken Weston is a researcher at Tripwire. Within seconds of searching the dark web, he found hundreds of credit card numbers for sale for as little as two dollars. If you wanted more information, the price jumped up to $5.

"Here, they all included social security number and date of birth, and then that's going to be a bit more expensive," Weston said. 

The dark web has been trouble for law enforcement. Every transaction is done without names and when the FBI finds one site, another pops up.

"The dark web is too massive. Even in the registered domain registers, there are 555 million. Those are just registered and that doesn't even count the dark web,” Godshall said.

Weston found ads for a 3-D printed gun, counterfeit money, drugs and even an ad for a hitman. The FBI says this underground internet is something your children probably know about it and could access.

"The computer and the electronic virtual world has infiltrated into our phones, into our tablets. It's something that is everywhere. It's something parents need to take a very active and strong stance against," Weston said.

Special Agent Godshall says the dark web is kind of like a double-edged sword because in addition to the criminal use of it, it also provides to put highly sensitive political information out to a wider market.

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<![CDATA[Christian Mingle Rapist Hacked, Stalked Me: Woman]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:12:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Liberty6p1121_1200x675_362071107928.jpg

The Del Mar man serving a 37-year prison sentence for raping two women he met online targeted others through hacking and stalking that made one alleged victim feel "endangered," she told NBC 7.

San Diego resident Victoria Kinney said met former Navy Lt. Sean Banks before his arrests, before his rape trial and before his sentencing.

To her, he was "Rylan," a man with similar morals, values and beliefs who she met through the online dating website ChristianMingle.com.

After messaging back and forth, Kinney told NBC 7 she felt something was off about Banks, so she stopped replying.

"And shortly after that, he called me, letting me know that he had found my phone number on the Internet and had my address and my family's address and my email accounts," she said.

He told her he was a hacking forensics specialist for the Navy, so he was able to pull up things a simple search on Google couldn’t find, Kinney said. But Banks claimed he told her this to keep her safe and protect her.

All too soon, she discovered this was the farthest thing from the truth.

As they continued to talk, Banks brought up things Kinney had only told one friend through text messages, making her suspect he was hacking into her phone.

Then, out of the blue, he called her and said he had been accused of rape. According to Kinney, he told her she could not talk to police because it would be obstruction of justice.

But Kinney did just the opposite, going to investigators with her suspicions that Banks hacked her phone.

“I felt like I wasn't safe. I would like wake up in the middle of the night and just have like hot flashes and shaking and just freak out, but not because it was more scary knowing that he knew everything about me, he knew my family,” said Kinney. “I felt like I endangered my family. Not knowing what he was capable of doing was the scariest."

Soon after, she got a text message from someone claiming to be police, asking her to click on a link for the investigation. The district attorney’s office told her the message was not from law enforcement.

They believe Banks asked someone to send it so if Kinney clicked on it, he could wipe evidence that they every communicated from her phone.

"So I wanted the police to know that in order to help the rape victims because I knew if he can erase evidence, if he can delete things, delete emails, texts, that may be why he was able to get away with it for so long,” she told NBC 7.

Kinney is telling her story now in hopes that other people will protect themselves from online vulnerability.

She learned from police not to click on unknown links that could open you to hacking, use protected Google Voice for calls and texts and download a virtual private network (VPN) app, which essentially encrypts your data.

Above all, trust your instincts.

"For women it's just very important to know that even if someone is claiming to be a Christian or on a Christian website — Christian Mingle says, ‘Find God's match for you.’ And nobody would think that God's match for you is a rapist hacker,” she said.

She believes some blame lies with Christian Mingle and other dating sites, for she said one of Bank’s rape victims tried to contact the website administrators after her encounter with him. However, Bank’s profile was not removed, and a month later, he met Kinney.

Kinney said the site should have a hotline for people to call if something bad happens or offer a way to verify users.

NBC 7's calls and emails to Christian Mingle’s legal department requesting comment have not been returned, but the website says experts manually review all profiles and use automated tools to identify questionable ones.

While she never met him in person, Kinney went to Bank’s trial, an experience she calls the worst in her life.

When prosecutors revealed the GPS and hacking equipment Banks allegedly used to stalk women, Kinney said she started shaking and threw up.

But now, she said she’s happy it happened.

"I think that it made me smarter and it made me keep myself safer and keep my family safer so I'm glad that it happened,” said Kinney. “I don't want him to feel like he won or that he hurt me because he didn't. He made us all smarter."


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Marion Barry Remembered]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:04:19 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/marion+barry+flag+half+staff.jpg

Friends and colleagues remembered former four-time D.C. Mayor Marion Barry who died early Sunday morning at age 78.

President Barack Obama added his thoughts to the many reactions on the passing of Barry.

"Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Marion Barry. Marion was born a sharecropper's son, came of age during the Civil Rights movement, and became a fixture in D.C. politics for decades. As a leader with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Marion helped advanced the cause of civil rights for all. During his decades in elected office in D.C., he put in place historic programs to lift working people out of poverty, expand opportunity, and begin to make real the promise of home rule. Through a storied, at times tumultuous life and career, he earned the love and respect of countless Washingtonians, and Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathies to Marion's family, friends and constituents today."

Barry collapsed early Sunday morning and was taken to United Medical Center where he was pronounced dead around 1:45 a.m. ET.

"He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him," D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said in a statement that expressed "deep sadness" and promised "official ceremonies worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia."

“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city,” said Gray. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”

Gray ordered flags at all D.C. buildings to be flown at half-staff beginning Sunday in Barry's honor.

In a statement released Sunday, incoming D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, "Mayor Marion Barry gave a voice to those who need it most. I – along with all Washingtonians – am shocked and deeply saddened by his passing, and we send out condolences to Cora Masters Barry, Chris Barry and the entire Barry family. He has been a part of my family for decades, and he will continue to be an example to me and so many others.”

While speaking on News4, Ward 1 DC Councilmember Jim Graham lamented Barry's passing and its impact on the city he loved.

"The city has lost a huge chunk of its soul today with the passing of Marion Barry," Graham said.

Radio station host Donnie Simpson added his thoughts as well.

"Marion Barry was always about the people of DC from day one, long before he got that Mayor's seat."

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton offered condolences to Barry's family.

“From my earliest encounter with Marion Barry, when he was the first chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee until I came back home and found him mayor of my home town, I have seen Marion take hold and write his signature boldly on his own life and times and on the life of the nation’s capital. Many took his struggle to personify in some way their own, endearing him and making him a larger-than-life figure as he became a creator of post-home-rule D.C.”

Councilmember David Grosso issued the following statement on the passing of Mayor Marion Barry:

"I was saddened to learn of the passing of my D.C. Council colleague. Marion Barry was a strong advocate for Ward 8 and devoted his life to the residents of Washington, D.C. His strong passion for making our city a great city was only surpassed in effort by his incredible commitment to ensuring that the poorest of our residents were never forgotten. It has been an honor for me to sit next to Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry on the dais and serve with him on the education committee for the past two years. I learned a lot about my beloved city from him and a lot about him. I will forever respect what he has done for this city in spite of his many challenges over a 40-year career."

Barry's annual turkey giveaway will go on despite his death.

Barry's spokeswoman LaToya Foster said Sunday at an early morning press conference at United Medical Center, where Barry died, that the annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway for needy residents would continue because ``that's what he would have wanted.''

The giveaway is scheduled for Tuesday at Union Temple Baptist Church in southeast Washington.

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<![CDATA[Man Posed as HS Student to Sexually Assault Teen: PD]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:53:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/john+mark+andres+molina.JPG

A man with San Diego ties pretended to be a high school student to assault a teenager in Bay Area.

Police in Milpitas, California, say John Mark Andres Molina, 28, posed as a student from Independence High School in San Jose as he began to communicate the 15-year-old alleged victim through social media.

Tricking the teen into believing his false identity, Molina assaulted the minor on multiple occasions over an extended period of time, investigators say.

Milpitas police began investigating Molina in Oct. 2014, and they arrested him at his San Jose home.

He is being held in Santa Clara County jail on a $150,000 bail.

Detectives say Molina has San Diego and Hawaii ties, and they are seeking other potential victims.

Molina has used various aliases like Mike Velasco, Johnny Velasco, Johnny Andres Velasco, Johnny Mike Andres Velasco and Christian James Velasco, according to investigators.



Photo Credit: Milpitas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Marion Barry Dies at 78]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:46:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP070613024655.jpg

Marion Barry, an icon of D.C. politics good and bad for more than 40 years, has died at age 78.

"It is with deep regret that the family of former four-time D.C. Mayor, and Ward 8 City Councilman, Marion S. Barry, Jr., announces that he has passed," read a statement early Sunday from Barry's family.

Barry had been hospitalized at Howard University Hospital Thursday after complaining of a urinary tract infection. He was released Saturday, and family members said he seemed to feel well. "In his own words, he was 'fantabulous' -- his words, not mine," said Barry spokeswoman LaToya Foster at an early-morning press conference at United Medical Center.

After he was released from the hospital, Barry visited with his son, Christopher, and then stopped to eat. On his way back into his home from the car, Barry collapsed. His driver brought him inside the home, unresponsive.

Barry was taken to United Medical Center at about 12:15 a.m. Sunday, and was pronounced dead at about 1:45 a.m. The District of Columbia's medical examiner said Sunday that Barry died of natural causes due to heart problems. A contributing factor was chronic kidney disease that complicated Barry's diabetes.

Reaction poured in as news of Barry's death spread early Sunday morning. "He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him," D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said in a statement that expressed "deep sadness" and promised "official ceremonies worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia."

Gray ordered flags at all D.C. buildings to be flown at half-staff beginning Sunday in Barry's honor.

In a statement released Sunday, incoming D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, "Mayor Marion Barry gave a voice to those who need it most."

Barry had recently taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey for her show, "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" The Barry family statement indicated that the interview — which featured his new book, "Mayor For Life: the Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr." — still would air Sunday at 9 p.m.

Barry served four terms as mayor and had a lock on the D.C. Council’s Ward 8 seat. But along with that huge political success, many personal failures marked his turbulent life.

Early on in his career, the Washington City Paper dubbed him “Mayor for Life.” He confounded critics who railed against his melodramatic life, even as he basked in the admiration of forgiving citizens who looked to him as their champion.

The son of a Mississippi sharecropper, Barry emerged from the student and civil rights activism of the 1960s to serve on the elected D.C. school board and D.C. Council.

In 1979, Barry began serving the first of three consecutive terms as D.C.’s second elected mayor. His pro-business policies helped spur economic development. He built civic programs for youth and senior citizens, and opened the city government to many African-American professionals, who previously had been shut out.

But lackluster city services, like slow snow removal and lost city ambulances, dogged Barry's administration. He battled a soaring homicide rate among the worst in the nation, and vowed a war on illegal drugs even as rumors about his own drug addiction swirled around Washington.

Barry's stature crumbled spectacularly in 1990, when an FBI sting videotaped Barry smoking crack cocaine in Washington’s Vista Hotel.

Barry famously complained that he had been set up by former girlfriend Rasheeda Moore, an FBI informant.

Barry’s federal trial turned into a drama of prosecution charges and persecution complaints. Out of 14 drug charges, a jury convicted Barry of a single misdemeanor possession charge. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson sentenced him to six months in prison, the maximum punishment.

Many thought the scandal would finish Barry's political career.

But in 1992, Barry emerged from prison and began his comeback right at the prison gate. Just months later he won the Ward 8 council seat from longtime ally and four-term incumbent Wilhelmina Rolark.

In 1994, he swept back into the mayor’s office for a fourth term, trouncing failed reform Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly. Congress reacted sharply to concerns over another term for Barry and Kelly’s massive debt by creating a five-member federal control board to run the city over Barry.

Barry appointed then-obscure Anthony Williams as his chief financial officer. Acerbic and shy compared to Barry, Williams won the mayor’s office in 1998 when Barry chose not to seek re-election.

Barry returned to the political limelight in 2004, winning Ward 8 over another former ally, Sandy Allen. Waving off criticism of disloyalty, Barry said it wasn’t personal — it was politics.

In recent years, Barry easily won re-election in Ward 8. But he suffered from declining health, and received a kidney transplant.

Other controversies endured: failing to file income taxes, being censured for steering a city contract to a girlfriend, and making insensitive remarks about Asian storeowners and Filipina nurses, to whom he later apologized after stinging public criticism.

In August, Barry was involved in a wrong-way accident on Pennsylvania Avenue. Barry blamed low blood sugar that had made him disoriented.

But of the six mayors who’ve served the city since home rule began in the 1970s, it was Barry’s Mayor for Life personality and rollercoaster career that helped define D.C. politics for decades.

Barry first came to D.C. with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He later helped establish and run Pride, an inner-city help group. When Congress granted limited home rule to D.C., Barry won a first seat on the D.C. Council in 1974.

Shot in the chest by Hanafi Muslims when they overran at the Wilson Building in 1977, Barry used the publicity to help launch his 1978 campaign for mayor. He was a brash reformer, equally eloquent on the streets and in boardrooms. He narrowly won a three-way battle after The Washington Post editorial page heavily and repeatedly endorsed him.

But his terms in office were marred by investigations into cronyism, those drug abuse allegations and his image as a self-professed night owl.

Despite his faults, Barry is also credited with creating a massive summer jobs program that, while wasteful in many cases, offered a job or paid internship to any city youth who wanted one; and for treating senior citizens as a top priority with homes and programs for those in the twilight of life.

He completed the city’s first convention center on time and on budget. In his last term as mayor, Barry landed the deal to get the MCI Center (now the Verizon Center) built downtown.

Still, his national reputation is one of a promising politician undone or diminished by his personal failings; a politician who rose against seemingly hopeless odds to win and stay in the life of politics, often in spite of himself.


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<![CDATA[Bombing Victim Out of Hospital]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 09:27:26 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/218*120/141109-rebekah-gregory-boston-marathon-245p_dcc82314c6be1ae7336460e9b55c0ca7.nbcnews-fp-1360-600.jpg

A woman injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing who had several surgeries before having part of her leg amputated recently was discharged from a rehab facility Saturday and has vowed to run the race next year.

Rebekah DiMartino said she looks forward to getting her stitches out in early December and being fitted for a prosthetic left leg.

"The prognosis is great. I chopped off what was holding me back," DiMartino said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as she packed up to leave. "The prognosis, is you'll see me running the Boston Marathon next year."

DiMartino had more than a dozen operations but still dealt with lingering pain. She had surgery Nov. 10 at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital to remove her left leg below the knee. She entered rehab Nov. 14 and was going home Saturday to nearby Richmond.

Rebekah Gregory was watching last year's Boston Marathon when bombs exploded. Her son, now 7, and her then-boyfriend, Peter DiMartino, were also hurt. The couple wed last spring in Asheville, North Carolina.

Their Houston-area home still needs some modifications for accessibility, she said.

"I have been wheelchair bound for the last 18 months basically, so when we built our house we built it with wider doors," said DiMartino, 27.

She does not expect her loss of a limb to adversely affect the rest of her life.

"This is about to be Rebekah unleashed. They haven't seen anything yet. This is the good part of the story," DiMartino said. "Not only am I moving on, I am trying to do my part in changing the world while doing it."

A suspect charged in the bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, awaits trial. His older brother, Tamerlan, was killed in a shootout with police after the bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260.



Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Who Killed Kids, Dies: Police]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 19:28:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/Tabernacle+NJ+shooting-2.jpg

A Burlington County, New Jersey, mother accused of shooting her three kids in her bedroom before turning the gun on herself has died, according to New Jersey State Police.

Jeaninne LePage, 44, died at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, Sunday morning, police confirmed to NBC10.

LePage, who was hospitalized since she and her three children were found shot in her bed last Thursday, is the responsible for killing two of her kids before turning the gun on herself inside their Holly Park Drive home in Tabernacle, said New Jersey State Police.

Police found the weapon — which has been in the family for a long time — close to LePage.

Eight-year-old Nadia Harriman and her 14-year-old brother, Nicholas Harriman, died, according to New Jersey State Police.

Alexander Harriman, 11, remained in severely critical condition at Cooper University Hospital Sunday, officials said.

Neighbors identified the victims Thursday, but authorities waited to confirm their names until they family members, including the children's father who was located in Maryland, were informed of the deaths.

Another relative who lives in the house found the victims around 9 a.m. and called for help.

"When police got there, they found a really horrific scene,’ said Jones. The victims were found in the same room and police believe they were shot with the same handgun, which was found at the scene."

Neighbors said that LePage shared the bed with her children and was in financial troubles.

Investigators believe the shootings occurred sometime between 5 and 9 a.m.

Nine people live in the house. They have all been accounted for and were interviewed by police, who assured neighbors early in the investigation that there was no manhunt and no reason for anyone to feel threatened or alarmed.

LePage tried to hide the shootings, according to police.

"A pillow was used to muffle the gunshot sounds, which we believe is why the other members of the house didn't hear the gunshots," said Noble.

The shootings shock the quiet community.

Members of the community organized a candlelight vigil Thursday night at Tabernacle's Town Hall, located at 163 Carranza Rd. At the vigil, children remembered their classmates.

Students and staff at Seneca High School — where Nicholas attended — had a moment of silence for the family Friday morning. Grief counselors were also on hand at local schools Friday to talk with grieving students and staff.

A trust fund was set up at PNC Bank under LePage-Harriman Memorial Fund.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Accidentally Shot by Dad]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:12:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/112214babyshot.jpg

 

The parents of a 9-month-old girl who was accidentally shot in her Brooklyn home are being criminally charged, investigators said Sunday.

 

The baby's father, Pedro Rosales, 47, faces a slate of charges, including second-degree assault, criminal possession of a firearm and endangering the welfare of a child, according to a court document.

Rosales was cleaning an illegally owned Colt .45 handgun at their home in East New York at about 4 p.m. Saturday when it discharged, police said. His daughter Jessica was hit in the hip. She underwent surgery at the Bellevue Hospital and was recovering in stable condition.

Rosales and Jessica Aguilar, the baby's mother, flagged down a police car outside their home on Sutter Avenue after the shooting and officers escorted parents and child to the hospital.

Police charged Aguilar with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree reckless endangerment.

Rosales is being held on $100,000 bond or $50,000 bail. Aguilar is being held on $10,000 bond or $5,000 bail.

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<![CDATA[Jogging Mom Was Stabbed: Official]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 06:08:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Melissa+Millan+Iron+Horse+Boulevard+in+Simsbury+daylight.jpg

Police have increased patrols near Iron Horse Boulevard in the center of Simsbury after the death of a woman found injured on the side of the road Thursday was ruled a homicide.

The state's medical examiner ruled the cause of death of Melissa Millan, 54, as "stab wound of chest," an employee in the medical examiner's office told NBC Connecticut on Saturday.

Millan, a Simsbury mother who was a senior vice president at MassMutual and who was also active in the community, was found lying on Iron Horse Boulevard between Phelps Lane and Pent Road around 8 p.m. Thursday. An ambulance rushed her to Saint Francis Hospital, where she died a short time later.

She was jogging on the boulevard at the time of the incident, according to Simsbury Police Capt. Nick Boulter. It's unclear if the homicide was random, he said.

Iron Horse Boulevard is in the center of Simsbury near a highly frequented bike trail, numerous restaurants and the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows.

Police initially considered the possibility that Millan was injured in a hit-and-run, but found no evidence to prove that theory.

Simsbury police have leads they are following and continue to investigate. No weapon has been found at this time and no suspect has been identified.

The Simsbury Police Department will increase patrols and police presence on the road "for an undetermined amount of time."

Police ask anyone with information to call detectives at 860-658-3145.

The last homicide in Simsbury was a murder-suicide in 2012.

There will be a vigil for Millan on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. near the area where she was found injured on Iron Horse Boulevard.


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<![CDATA[East County Teen: I Was Beaten, Humiliated ]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:19:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/PKGnewSTUDENTHARASSMENT1121_1200x675_362105411517.jpg

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirms it is investigating a case involving violence against a West Hills High School student.

According to investigators, it happened Friday, Nov. 14 around 3 p.m. along Kaschube Way and Kreiner Way.

NBC 7 spoke exclusively to that student and his mother. She has concerns about how the school is responding to the incident.

“He's been the victim of violence. He's been a victim of a hate crime, and there's been no support for him from the school,” his mother said. She and her son did not want their identities revealed because of concerns about retaliation.

The freshman admitted to playing a role in starting the drama but never thought the consequences would be so severe. He said it started when a female student stole his colorguard saber. He said he hit the back of her head, took back saber and walked away.

He said after school, a group confronted him. He told NBC 7 that group included the girl and about 10 other guys.

“A group of like 10 guys I never met before. They started calling me gay and [expletive] and all that,” he said. “They simultaneously flipped me off and kept calling me gay, and I overheard a few of them saying they were going to jump me.”

When he went to be with his friends, he said the group showed up again.

“They came up behind me and pantsed me. Underwear and all. It was terrible.”

Things got worse. As he was walking home from school, he said the girl and three boys who were part of the initial group that humiliated him started following him.

“One of the guys punched me in the right temple, and then he pulled me off the wall and was punching and kicking me…They were extremely violent. They were trying to stomp on my head. They were trying to kill me,” he said.

The teen’s mother told NBC 7 she feels the school isn’t doing enough to keep her son safe.

“‘Oh yeah we'll take a quick statement here. Take it home, write it out, bring it back the next day’ was basically their level of response,” she said.

West Hills High School did not respond to NBC 7’s request for comment, but Grossmont Union High School District released the following statement:

We are aware of the situation and took immediate action once the incident was reported. Law enforcement is investigating this matter and corrective action has been taken by the school to protect student safety.

The district was unable to comment further due to privacy concerns.

The Sheriff’s Department said the case is under investigation, and it’s working in conjunction with the school district. A spokesperson said detectives are talking to witnesses and if there are others out there who saw what happened, they would like to hear from them. Possible witnesses can call the Santee Sheriff's Station at 619-956-4000. They can also remain anonymous and call the Crime Stoppers Students Speaking Out Hotline at 888-580-8477.

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<![CDATA[Why Children Should Help Plan Family Vacations]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:13:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/balboa+park+vacation+planning.jpg

Allison Sotelo walks through Balboa Park with her husband and two daughters.

She said when the family goes on vacation, they have one simple goal: "As long as everyone is having fun."

But that's not always easy, and unhappy children can spoil a good trip.

"We all know if you're on a trip with unhappy kids or sulking teenagers, you're miserable," said travel writer Eileen Ogintz. 

She told NBC 7 the key to family happiness on vacation is getting the family excited in planning the trip.

"You definitely should get the kids involved in planning it," said Ogintz. "A lot of times you would be surprised as to what the kids say they want to do."

Ogintz is the author of the syndicated column "Taking The Kids" and believes when the family is vested in where they are going, the happier everyone is going to be.

Jeffry Eslinger, who works for the travel research company D.K. Shifflet & Associates, said for kids today, the world is literally at their fingertips.

"Before it was the parent who said, 'Guess what, kids? We're going to wherever,'" said Eslinger.

Now children have the advantage of social media and websites to discover great family trips.

According to Eslinger, modern families are the most traveled Americans in the history of the country, with Gen X and Millennial families opting for more active experiences in their vacations.

Instead of "drive-by" vacations, families are choosing trips that involved hiking, biking, eco-trips and more. Families are also visiting foreign countries like Europe, Central America and Asia.

But no matter where families go, these experts are convinced that getting everyone involved in the planning will make for a happier trip.



Photo Credit: Consumer Bob]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed While Hunting ]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:47:34 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/West-Windsor-Hunting-Accide.jpg

A man was shot and killed during a hunting trip with his father in West Windsor, New Jersey, according to police.

The accidental shooting occurred Saturday afternoon on the 1200 block of Old Trenton Road. Officials have released little information on the incident so far but said a man in his 70's and his 45-year-old son were hunting Canada geese on a large property they owned. The father and son were properly licensed to hunt the birds, according to investigators.

Police initially told NBC10 the elderly man accidentally shot his son in the back of the head. However, they later told NBC10 the victim died from a gunshot wound to the head and neck from his own firearm.

Responding police officers and medics found the victim in a patch of woods on the property. After several life saving attempts were made he was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The initial call was for a hunting accident out here at the farm," said West Windsor Township Police lieutenant Matthew Kemp. "Medics and police officers were immediately dispatched and came across a person who was obviously deceased. Everything appears to be an accident. We're just dotting the "I's" and crossing the "T's" to be sure that's what it is." 

Police also said the father and son were the only two people in the hunting party.

West Windsor Police and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating the incident. They have not yet released the victim’s identity. An autopsy is scheduled for next week.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>